Exec: Paramount+ Was Perfect Fit for Walmart+ Due to Similar Customer Base, Appeal
When Paramount Global and Walmart announced a deal last month that would include a subscription to Paramount+’s Essential (ad-supported) tier with every Walmart+ subscription, it was seen as something of a game-changer in the streaming industry. The partnership between a streaming service and a retail outlet is the first of its kind and should have benefits for both companies.
Paramount execs have already begun seeing an instant jump in subscription numbers. When the company last reported its earnings, Paramount+ had over 43 million subscribers, and a Morgan Stanley survey from May estimated that Walmart+ had 16 million subscribers. Those 16 million customers are now able to become Paramount+ subscribers for free as well. If all of them opt into the service, that would bring Paramount+’s new total to nearly 60 million, even before any future growth for either subscription service.
The deal brings with it excellent merchandising opportunities available to Walmart. The addition of a free streaming service also enhances Walmart+’s brand in the growing subscription shopping space. The competition to partner with Walmart was fierce amongst streamers, with Disney, Netflix, and Comcast all reportedly in the running to add their streaming services to Walmart+.
So how did Paramount+, with its smaller subscriber base, win out over the bigger companies? According to comments made by Paramount Global CEO Robert Bakish at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference, it was the similarities between Paramount and Walmart that helped seal the deal.
“[Walmart CEO Doug McMilon’s] point of view was we were like them because you look at our content, our popular content, we’re not a coastal company,” Bakish said. “We didn’t win a lot of Emmys. We entertain the masses. Look at ‘Yellowstone,’ the biggest show on television. Look at ‘PAW Patrol,’ biggest preschool property in the world … I’m sure everybody wanted that deal. I know for a fact some specific competitors who want it. But ultimately, Walmart wanted to do it with us.”
Unlike some of its more prestige streaming competitors, Paramount+ has always prided itself on being a home of content that would appeal to all ages and regional and socioeconomic demographics. Bakish touted the service’s appeal to “middle America”, where shows like “Yellowstone” are hugely popular. He said that Paramount has already seen a benefit from the deal, and he expects the money to continue rolling in.
“It’s early days,” he said. “[It] hasn’t even really been marketed yet, and we’re seeing a nice subscriber uptick.”
Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 40,000+ TV show episodes from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and more. The lineup includes “1883,” “Tulsa King,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” From well-loved franchises to compelling originals, Paramount+ offers a great library worth streaming. Live NFL games are included. The service also offers the option to watch your live CBS affiliate.
Subscribers can choose between the Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with the Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional fee.
With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time lineup, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.
With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate.
With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.
The service was previously called CBS All Access.